Ten other people were injured, including one seriously, after the landslide in the village of Ask in the municipality of Gjerdrum, north of the capital, Oslo. Conditions remained difficult, with the clay soil still too unstable for rescuers to walk and temperatures registering -1 ° C in the early morning hours.
The edges of the crater continued to peel off, authorities said, urging people not to approach the area. So far, some 1,000 people have been evacuated.
“We are still looking for survivors,” the chief of the police operation at the site, Roger Pettersen, told reporters, adding that children and adults were missing.
Heat research equipment
Overnight, police used drones with heat search equipment to search for survivors in the debris. Helicopters tried to lower the army and police with search and rescue dogs on some structures deemed stable enough to stand on. A Dalmatian dog was rescued overnight.
On Thursday, Pettersen urged residents not to send fireworks to celebrate New Years Eve so as not to interfere with helicopters and drones.
In addition, questions were asked about why construction was allowed in the region.
Broadcaster TV2 said a geological survey carried out in 2005 for city authorities called the area at high risk for landslides. But new homes have been built three years after the report was released.
In a rare public statement, King Harald of Norway said the landslide had left a deep impression.
“My thoughts are with all those affected, injured or who have lost their homes, and those who now live in fear and uncertainty over the scale of the disaster,” the 83-year-old monarch said in a press release published by the Royal Palace.